Written Answers - Departmental Agencies

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 760 No. 1

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  38.  Deputy Thomas P. Broughan  Information on Thomas P. Broughan  Zoom on Thomas P. Broughan   asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine  Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney   if he will report on the operation of Teagasc; the numbers employed by Teagasc each year form 2007 to date in 2012; the number of centres or sites and the key activities carried out at each of these centres under the operation of Teagasc each year from 2007 to date in 2012; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14598/12]

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Deputy Simon Coveney): Information on Simon Coveney  Zoom on Simon Coveney  Teagasc operates as a separate non-commercial semi state body under the aegis of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with their own management structure and governing Authority. They develop their programmes, services and activities in accordance with Government policy [110]and in conjunction with clients and partners overseen by an Authority that is representative of the main stakeholder groups in the agrifood sector.

The Act establishing Teagasc confers on it principal functions in relation to the provision of education, advisory and research services to the agriculture sector. It is a matter for Teagasc to prioritise activities in the delivery of these services and to allocate its resources in accordance with these priorities. Ministerial responsibility is confined to matters of policy in accordance with the Act and the Minister does not interfere in the day-to-day operations of Teagasc. The total staff working in Teagasc on 1 January for each respective year is as follows:

Year Number (fulltime equivalents)
2007 1,549
2008 1,512
2009 1,574
2010 1,385
2011 1,296
2012 1,189

In 2009, Teagasc commenced implementation of a major Change Programme to achieve greater efficiencies in all aspects of their business and to address the need for significant resource rationalisation. The Programme provides for rationalisation measures across the organisation including consolidating the numbers of offices in a smaller number of locations. Prior to this, Teagasc operated at 91 locations made up of 10 major Campus Centres (providing Research, Advisory and Educational Services) and 81 Advisory Centres. I have been advised by Teagasc that the number of locations is being streamlined to 51 by end 2012. The decision to close offices and concentrate the delivery of services at fewer locations is an operational matter for Teagasc.

Teagasc publishes an Annual Report on its activities but the Deputy may wish to contact Teagasc directly for a more detailed reply on the activities carried out at individual sites.

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